Today, Opera announced the release of its Mini 5 browser for Windows Mobile. Mini 5, which is appended with the “beta 2″ tag, supports: tabbed browsing, password management, bookmarks, Speed Dial, and does not require Java to run. The fully native WinMo browser is billed as having much faster page loading times and greater rendering accuracy. Opera brags, “[one of the] major benefits is that it compresses data traffic by up to 90 percent, resulting in significantly improved page-loading and speed.” Those of you with Windows Mobile 5 and 6 can head over to m.opera.com/next/ on your device to try out the new bits. Hit the break for the press release. More →
Listen: It took six months of the App Store’s existence for Apple to approve the first batch of third-party browsers for the iPhone and iPod touch. It was a pretty damn exciting event because it was the sort of app everyone was used to being rejected because it replicates native features of the iPhone OS. Well, since then Apple rejected some pretty prolific apps for the same asinine reason to the point that even the flippin’ government took notice and started asking questions. And now, today, we have a new potential app disaster on our hands because Opera, the third-party mobile browser powerhouse, announced it will be previewing Opera Mini for iPhone next week at Mobile World Congress. Opera seems to think its app will be able to slide through the approval processes without issue, but we’re not going to get our hopes up just yet.
Totally random thought we’re just going to throw out there: Anyone think AT&T might be keen on seeing Opera Mini approved? Just think of the Draino of a job Opera’s data compression technology might do to unclog the long, hippie hair stuck in AT&T’s data pipes. More →
Browser market share data for January 2010 has hit the streets, and it looks like Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari have gained a little — and we do mean a little — ground. Chrome posted a 5.2% hold of market share in January, up from 4.6% in December of 2009. Apple’s Safari came in with a 4.51% share, up from 4.46% the previous month. Firefox and Internet Explorer both lost a tiny bit of ground in January; IE 62.2% which is down from 62.69%, Firefox 24.41% down from 24.62%. Opera was lumped into “other” on our chart, but registered 2.38% of the browser pie. Per usual, IE and FF still dominate the browser landscape with over 86% of market share. Anyone out there switch browsers recently? If so, which browser did you move to?
[Via ZDNet] More →
It took an awfully long time for it to come to market, but today Verizon Wireless has begun selling the Samsung Omnia II in time for the busy Christmas shopping season. Verizon’s second Windows Mobile 6.5 device after the HTC Imagio, the Omnia II sports a 5 megapixel camera, 8GB of internal memory expandable via microSD plus standard smartphone features like Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth and EV-DO Rev. A. connectivity. Of course the Omnia II lacks the Imagio’s global roaming functionality, but honestly, after taking a look at that 3.7″ WVGA AMOLED display, it’s pretty hard to think about anything else. That is unless you can’t afford the $199.99 2-year contract price. More →
Among all of the great Web browsers out there, it seems like Opera manages to generate the most enthusiastic group of loyalists we’ve seen. No, they’re not quite as gung ho as, say, BlackBerry or iPhone addicts, but they’re a feisty bunch all the same. Well Opera fans, the day you’ve been waiting for is almost upon us. Opera announced via its blog this morning that its Opera 10 release candidate is now available for download and the final version will lift off on September 1st, as in one week from today. Highlights from the horse’s mouth:
Opera 10 features Opera Turbo, the new bandwidth-booster for slow Internet connections. It also features a significantly improved Opera Mail, Opera’s built-in e-mail client. Tabbed browsing enters the next phase of its evolution with resizeable [sic], thumbnail tabs. The upgrade of Opera’s Speed Dial now gives users a chance to personalize their favorite online destinations and the overall look and feel of their start page.
Opera also claims that version 10 of its browser is a remarkable 40 percent faster than the already-spry Opera 9.6. Long story short, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Opera tantalized everyone last week with its proclamation that the Norwegian company was about to reinvent the Web. We were skeptical at best. Here we are on launch day and, well, the Web kind of feels the same, but Opera has announced its latest and greatest innovation, dubbed Opera Unite. According to the post at Opera Labs, Opera Unite is an application that will turn any computer running the software into a web server. Users running Opera Unite will be able to share content with multiple computers over the Internet through the web browser, or even web applications called Unite services. Opera is pushing the service as a social media tool that requires no third party service, no complicated setup and no additional fees. Your data shared from your computer, on your terms and under your control. The service will launch with a few demo applications including Opera Unite Jukebox, an in-browser media player, and an instant messaging application. Opera Unite will work on Mac, Windows and Linux PCs with expansion to mobile browsers and other devices expected in the future. An alpha version of the Opera Unite software is now available for download.
Sorry Al Gore, your work here is done. The Internet as we know it will soon to be a thing of the past. No longer will a complex series of interconnected computers following a strict set of protocols connect us to the information we crave, the knowledge we relish and the kitty videos we yearn to “awwwwwwwwwwwwww” at. TCP/IP… Psssshhhh, peace. Copper wire, fiber optic cable… So long, suckas. Opera is about to kick it all to the curb. Or maybe, just maybe, Opera’s PR team is writing checks the company can’t cash and we’re just going to see Opera 10 come out of beta on the 16th. Yeah, that’s way more likely.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
As Opera continues to chip away at its competition and gain mobile market share, you can bet it’s not resting on any laurels. The software company has just released its 9.7 Beta version for Windows Mobile and promises to render pages faster and with better compression. The new version also includes Opera Widgets manager. Do note that this is still in beta and will have some issues:
- Opera Turbo in Opera Mobile is still a preview-feature;
- Downloads don’t work while Opera Turbo is enabled.
- Some settings (such as toggle on/off images) do not apply when Opera Turbo is enabled.
- On older WM 5.0 Devices with 480×800 resolution, switching between portrait and landscape may cause display errors. This is due to lack of support for this resolution in early versions of Microsoft’s driver.
- Some input method editors are known not to work well with Opera because they do not comply with Microsoft’s SIP and/or IME standard. When such an editor is detected by Opera, Opera will use a known (default) input method instead. An exception is EzInput v1.5, where the phone keypad and compact QUERTY, ABC mode doesn’t work, but the rest of the modes work fine. We recommend upgrading to EzInput v2.0 to avoid this.
- Only support for FlashLite 3.x. No Flash plugin included.
Still, it looks like a fine upgrade and a great direction for Opera mobile, especially with the new widgets manager. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Following a report from Forbes last Friday, Opera has stated publicly — at least in PR speak — that it denies suggestions of one or more US carrier agreements rumored to be announced in early April. Forbes’ report suggested US carriers were finally “coming around” and the Oslo-based browser company would be announcing agreements to bring its mobile browser to subsidized handsets in the US at CTIA. Opera’s public response:
Opera is aware of statements in the media that Opera will announce one or more agreements with US operators in early April.
Opera would like to clarify that it has no plans to announce any US operator agreements to the OSE in early April as mentioned in the media.
Well that doesn’t leave much room for debate now does it? The idea of less-savvy users in the US having access to a more real version of the web from feature phones was definitely exciting as typical, casual users are unlikely to seek out a browser like Opera Mobile on their own. Alas, no such luck if this announcement is taken at face value. We’re sure Opera will continue to push its browser to US carriers and we can only hope deals will be announced at some point. That point however, will not be next week at CTIA.
Forbes is reporting that Opera is bypassing handset manufacturers and striking deals with US wireless carriers in an attempt to further the distribution of its popular mobile web browser. Opera currently has agreements with European carriers Vodafone and T-Mobile that places the Opera browser on the carrier’s mobile phones. A loose-lipped Opera spokesman revealed that Opera will also be announcing several US carrier deals at the upcoming CTIA Wireless conference in early April. The spokesperson declined to identify the carriers but the US only has 4 major carriers so you can take your pick. Regardless or which carriers will be scoring Opera Mobile come April, this will be a big step for both Opera and feature phone customers whose browsing experiences are about to get a boost.
If anyone knows how to make a browser powerful, but user-friendly, it’s Mozilla. Fennec is going to be no different in terms of their end goal for the mobile browser. First, they intend to use every last bit of screen real-estate to the browser, removing all controls, tabs, and buttons that would take away from the body of the page. Sullivan says they want to “give over the entire screen of the device to the Web content, removing all user-interface controls entirely.” How will a user navigate, you ask? Certain screen controls and finger swipes (for touchscreens) will activate the UI controls in a snap. If that isn’t cool enough for you, future versions may also include support for haptic feedback. While this is all cool and snazzy, Fennec has its work cut out because the others (Safari, Opera, Blackberry, Symbian) have established themselves and are still making progress. For more info on Fennec and what its future holds, hit the link!
The mobile browser arena just got a little more competitive on Tuesday when the much-talked-about mobile browser Skyfire launched its public beta. Previously in private beta, the now public version opens up Skyfire to anyone in the US with a Windows mobile or a Nokia Nseries / Eseries S60 (3rd Edition) phone. Skyfire also received a version upgrade from 0.6 to 0.8 that features improved video streaming, faster page loading, the ability to download images and PDF files, and a redesign of the interface to incorporate more icons and less text. Best of all, Skyfire, unlike its competitors (cough, Opera Mobile) comes in at a nice price. It’s free!
UPDATE: It’s available today.